Reducing Network Tiers in Virtualized Infrastructure

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January 17th, 2011

Shehzad MerchantA typical “non-virtualized” data center has three network layers, Top-of-Rack, End-of-Row and Core switches. But virtualized infrastructure adds two additional layers—the virtual switch and blade switch—raising the number of tiers from 3 to 5. This significantly increases latency plus the number of network elements within the data center resulting in increased data center management complexity. I talk with Shehzad Merchant, Senior Director for Strategy at Extreme Networks, about Extreme’s flattening approach to data center network fabric through its DirectAttach.

A Network Approach to Automated VM Moves with Virtualization Visibility

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November 15th, 2010

Shehzad MerchantMove a Virtual Machine (VM) from one physical server to another, and network port profile, VLANs, security settings, etc., have to be reconfigured. Many networking companies haven’t taken the critical step of giving complete visibility and control of the VM lifecycle from an infrastructure perspective. But with XNV, Extreme Networks is bringing this functionality and visibility to network administrators, tracking VMs and applying policy as they move throughout the network. Shehzad Merchant, Senior Director for Strategy at Extreme Networks, joins me for a discussion about Extreme’s approach to network automation and visibility of virtualized infrastructure through its XNV software module.

Extreme’s Next Generation Gigabit Ethernet Switches Offer New Network Design Options

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October 26th, 2010

Darius GoodallGigabit Ethernet networking has expanded to desktop connections in campus networking and to dense server connectivity in data centers. In short gigabit Ethernet has become mainstream with multiple use cases driving its growth. But a new generation of gigabit Ethernet switches is needed to satisfy market demands with attributes such as PoE-Plus, stacking, data center cooling, power efficiency and more. It’s these attributes and more that Extreme is delivering with its new Summit X460 Gigabit Ethernet switch. I talk with Darius Goodall, Senior Manager Product Marketing at Extreme Networks about the Summit X460 and the new network designs it enables.

Lippis Report 156: Why We Are Entering The Age of Borderless Networking

September 9th, 2010

nicklippis.jpgNetworking is entering a new phase or era. During the 1990s, new networking markets opened up, creating multi-billion dollar opportunities for the vendor community and corporate cost savings for IT business leaders. First, it was shared LANs and routing, then switched LANs, then Frame Relay to speed up WANs, then SNA over IP, then remote access via dial-up and VPN, then MPLS, then IP telephony, then Wireless LANs etc… and now, it’s video and cloud networking. You get the picture. But what we didn’t realize as we build these networks is that they are silos with disparate management systems and unique access methods resulting in operational cost overlap and, most importantly, user frustration as they transition application use from desktop, to mobile end point, to remote endpoint. In short, we built boundaries around applications in the form of networks and it is the dismantling of these borders that vendors are now starting to deliver and differentiate upon. It’s not just Cisco that communicates borderless networks, but HP Networking, Juniper, Brocade, Extreme, Avaya, Force10 and others too. Why is the industry entering a new age of borderless networking and what’s in it for IT business leaders, is explained in this Lippis Report Research Note.
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Lippis Report 155: The Two-Tier High-End Data Center Ethernet Fabric Network Gains Steam

August 24th, 2010

nicklippis.jpgIt hasn’t been since the mid 1990s that the networking industry was focused on multi-protocol integration or convergence. But the industry is gearing up for a major innovation and competitive cycle fueled by the multi-billion dollar addressable market for data center network fabrics. Over the last eighteen months, every major Ethernet infrastructure provider has been talking about two and three tier network fabrics for high-end data centers.

Companies such as Cisco, Arista Networks, HP/3Com, Force10, Voltaire, Extreme, Brocade, Juniper et al have announced network fabrics for data centers with five thousand and more servers with and without storage enablement. Juniper talks of a one-tier fabric through their Project Stratus work with IBM to be available some time in the future. Brocade recently introduced its Brocade One, which is a converged data center fabric. Extreme Networks launched its DirectAttachTM that eliminates virtual plus blade switch layers. HP has FlexFabric, a virtualized fabric for the data center. Cisco launched its FabricPath Switching System or FSS for the Nexus 7000 that enables massive scale of a two-tier fabric.

In this Lippis Report Research Note, we review the architectural attributes of two tier network fabrics.

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How Direct Attach from Extreme Networks Reduces Tiers in the Data Center

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August 24th, 2010

By Extreme Networks

A typical “non-virtualized” data center has three network layers, Top-of-Rack, End-of-Row and Core switches. But virtualized infrastructure adds two additional layers; the virtual switch and blade switch, raising the number of tiers from 3 to 5. This significantly increases latency plus the number of network elements within the data center resulting in increased data center management complexity.

Extreme Networks® Direct AttachTM eliminates the virtual switch layer, simplifying the network and improving performance. Extreme Networks high density BlackDiamond® 8800 series switches with 8900-series modules further enable data center simplification by utilizing high density blades and cabling to eliminate the blade switch, thereby reducing the number of tiers in the data center from 5 to 3.

Find out how by downloading this white paper: